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Five ways to smell like a rose when ordering flowers for this Mother’s Day

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
April 28, 2012
— What do you get the mother who seems to have everything to show your love and appreciation on Mother’s Day?

Flowers continue to be a popular gift choice.


Mother’s Day is the second-busiest holiday of the year for florists and accounted for one-fourth of all floral purchases made for the holidays during 2011, according to aboutflowers.com.


But more than 50 Wisconsin consumers filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau during the past 12 months after experiencing thorny issues with their florists, said Randall Hoth, president of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.


To come out smelling like a rose this Mother’s Day, which falls on Sunday, May 13, Hoth offered five flower-buying tips:


1. Check out the florist’s reputation. The company’s rating and business review can be found online at bbb.org. Consumers also can check for the Better Business Bureau accreditation logo. Those not comfortable with the Internet can call the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau at 1-800-273-1002 and speak with a consumer specialist.


2. Use local florists, if possible. This avoids a large mark-up fee—sometimes as much as 30 percent—for an online national call center to service your order and a better chance of avoiding discounts that could lock you into a monthly reward program.


“By working with a local florist and checking them out, you have a good chance of getting good quality,” Hoth said.


3. Be specific. Know exactly what type and color of flowers you want and the design of the floral arrangement.


“If you simply request a fresh cut of spring flowers, you may not get exactly what you envisioned,” Hoth said.


4. Make sure you understand the florist’s refund policy and guarantee. Ask if your order is guaranteed and how and if you can get a full or partial refund if something is wrong with the order.


“People don’t ask enough specific questions on the front end, and that’s also sometimes tough on an online order,” Hoth said.


5. Inquire about time of delivery and delivery charges. Ask how much they are and whether the store delivers on Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 13, or if the flowers will be delivered the day before.


“If you order something and it doesn’t occur on the date promised, it doesn’t have the same impact. So, it’s really important to ask about the delivery—time and date promised.


“If you place your order with a credit card and the order doesn’t meet the terms of the order, you have the right to contact your credit card issuer and ask for a provisional credit once the charge comes through because the transaction did not occur on the date it was promised,” Hoth said.



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